The Future of the Patent System

The Future of the Patent System

Edited by Ryo Shimanami

In a rapidly changing world, the underlying philosophies, the rationale and the appropriateness of patent law have come under question. In this insightful collection, the authors undertake a careful examination of existing patent systems and their prospects for the future. Scholars and practitioners from Japan, the US, Europe, India, Brazil and China give detailed analyses of current and likely future problems with their respective systems, and outline possible responses to them.

Chapter 7: The Indian patent system: the road ahead

N.S. Gopalakrishnan and T.G. Agitha

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, law - academic, asian law, intellectual property law


The patent law of a nation often reflects the industrial and scientific policies adopted by that nation. The development of scientific and technological capabilities and growth of domestic industries are the major objectives based on which countries mould their patent laws. However, the modern patent system appears to be the result of international politics aimed at protecting trade interests rather than developmental interests. The “onesize-fits all” approach of the TRIPS, therefore, is considered by many as problematic, as they feel that “[i]t is far from self-evident that protecting IPRs is an effective development policy at all levels (or perhaps ‘stages’) of economic development”. The modern patent system is the result of the strong conviction, shared by many, including economists, and lawyers that strong and broad patents are conducive to economic progress. Rich dividends paid by the patent system to the developed countries are projected as examples for forcing the developing nations to follow a similar patent system so as to boost their industrial and scientific growth. The historical contexts in which the patent system developed and the space availed of by these countries to set standards so as to use the system to their advantage were often ignored in this process.5 While it is true that there are many positive elements in the modern patent system, the experience of the developed countries in the last three decades also reflects the limitation of the modern patent system in promoting uniform economic growth.

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